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Panic! At the Capital One Arena: a dual perspective

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Panic! At the Capital One Arena: a dual perspective

Photo by Alex Metzger

Photo by Alex Metzger

Photo by Alex Metzger

Alex Metzger and Nate Belman

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The lights dim as the countdown ends, a crowd springing to life as people around us blast to their feet. The band and an accompanying orchestra rise from a platform below the arena to the top of the stage, playing an increasingly powerful tune as they are propelled upwards. The lights on the stage go dark once again, the music decreasing in an octave. Suddenly, a man is shot out of the center of the stage 10 feet into the air, setting off fireworks in rapid succession. As the concert starts off with an explosive rendition of “(F*** A) Silver Lining,” Nate can’t help but wonder, “What’s the lead singer’s name again?” as it’s his first real encounter with Panic! At the Disco’s music, and lead singer Brendon Urie’s name hasn’t been etched into his memory quite yet. Little does he know, he’s in for quite a ride tonight.

Songs fly by with an intensity we’ve never known before, each one seemingly louder and more energetic than the previous. The first 10 or 15 tracks all sound nearly identical, with copious amounts of yelling and loud bass to a new listener. It’s difficult to get up and dance or sing to songs that you’ve never heard, so Nate stays in his seat as more and more of the audience get up on their feet around him. There are some interesting and entertaining elements during these songs, but they are lost behind the glaring lights and screaming crowd. That’s his experience, but to Alex and the other fanboys or fangirls who are fully sucked into these songs, it’s a night they’ll never forget.

Each song has its own meaning and different spectacle and it’s hard to comprehend how some people can stay in their seats, as the whole arena is practically glowing with light and Urie hardly has the need to sing when almost everyone in the stadium, including Alex, knows the words by heart. Finally, after what seems like an eternity to Nate and five minutes to Alex, there’s room to take a break from upbeat tracks. “This is Gospel” comes to its end and the lights on the stage dim. Urie exits stage left and the stagehands quickly remove set pieces. An intermission!

The teeming masses of hardcore Panic! At The Disco fans who have been to shows before on the ground floor hold out their arms. As Brendon makes his way through the crowd to give out hugs, autographs, and photos, he keeps the microphone to his lips as he sings “Death of A Bachelor.” As he reaches the back of the auditorium, the piano that the top levels of the arena have been watching descend from the rafters finally reaches ground level. Brendon hops onto the platform and 20,000 people raise their cell phone lights to form a beacon below him. The piano raises into the air and a collective gasp is taken by the audience. The musical ship sails over thousands of heads, its captain gently steering it towards the glowing triangle in the middle of the stage, portraying “Dying in LA” as a spectacle rather than a ballad. The piano is lowered to earth and as the opening chords to “Girls/Girls/Boys” are played by bassist Nicole Row, each of the 20,000 audience members straps a filter that was left on their seat to a phone flashlight. They have been arranged in such a way so that the different colors in different seats unite to create the LGBTQ+ pride flag. It is held up by every audience member and to look around is to see a unified expression of love and pride appreciation.

The closing sections of the show are more anthemic with the audience singing along to hit after hit and the absurd pyrotechnics showing through. We left the show overwhelmed and on our feet cheering, the knowledge in our heads that Panic! can keep up this pop punk ringmaster gig up for however long they want.

 

About the Writer
Alex Metzger, Junior Editor

Alex is a coffee grabber I mean junior editor at the Wilson Beacon. He’s a sophomore who is currently spending his time getting hit below the belt with...

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Panic! At the Capital One Arena: a dual perspective